Message to the Bowdoin Community — November 18, 2015
November 19, 2015 by Office of the President
Dear students, faculty, and staff,
These are difficult and disturbing times that are causing members of our community to question their personal safety and to wonder what can be done to protect themselves and others. You have all seen the messages from Randy Nichols providing specific information about the recent incidents at the Mayflower Apartments and on Potter Street. We write to let you know what the College and students are doing to further safeguard our community.
As concerning as these two incidents are, we currently have no evidence that links them, nor do we believe they represent a sudden transformation for Brunswick, historically a very safe and welcoming community. Brunswick and Bowdoin are safe, but there are precautions we must all take—wherever we live—to enhance our safety. We are grateful for the work students are doing to raise awareness about safety and security and for the assistance members of our community are providing to each other, including a BSG-sponsored neighborhood walk this evening and a new student-produced Bowdoin “Safe Walk” Facebook page that pairs student volunteers with other students seeking walking companions. The College has also heard from neighborhood residents who are concerned and eager to assist, and we welcome their support.
As Randy has emphasized, there are several precautions we can all take to protect ourselves. First and foremost, we need to remain aware of our surroundings. That means we must look around and listen rather than enclosing our ears with headphones and burying our faces in our cell phones as we walk—actions that severely limit our ability to sense and react. We also need to make sure our doors and windows are locked and not propped open, especially after dark. Walking in well-lit areas with others after dark and taking advantage of the Bowdoin Shuttle and subsidized taxi service (729-3688) are also extremely effective safety practices. And we can also help protect our community by immediately reporting any unsafe or suspicious activity by calling 9-1-1 or Bowdoin Security at 725-3500, or by using one of the campus “blue light” emergency phones.
Meanwhile, the College continues to focus on safety as its highest priority. In addition to increased Brunswick Police and Bowdoin Security patrols where students live and walk, we have checked door and window security at Mayflower Apartments. Similar checks have been completed or are underway at other student residences. Exterior lights at Mayflower Apartments that were previously operated by manual switches are now controlled by automatic dusk-to-dawn sensors, and Bowdoin Facilities staff and others recently completed a lighting walk that will result in lighting improvements in other areas. We are also encouraging any member of the Bowdoin community who knows of a safety concern to report it to Bowdoin Security or to file a work order with Facilities Management. Meanwhile, parking restrictions at College Houses on Maine Street have been relaxed, allowing students to park closer to the central campus well before dark.
Finally, in addition to assisting the Brunswick Police Department, which issued a sketch of a “person of interest” on Monday in connection with the Mayflower Apartments incident, College officials met this morning with the Brunswick Town Manger to discuss ways Bowdoin and Brunswick can work together to enhance safety in the larger community.
We recognize that all of this can be very unsettling, but it is important to know that there is much we can all do to improve our own safety and that of others. Thank you for your vigilance and your help in keeping Bowdoin safe.
Clayton Rose and Tim Foster